Saturday, September 30, 2006

person : Tadanobu Asano

His name is Tadanobu Asano and I'm follower of him. He's a versatile Japanese actor born in 1973 and he made over 35 films in 16 years. I'm trying to watch his films as much as possible but it's quite hard here in Spain. Besides his films are mostly independent or not commercial. That's one of the reasons why he's so charismatic and cool.

I like his style, his face (the most attractive one to me), his films, also his wife!! She's Chara, she makes pretty good music. My current long hair is partly due to him. I found this picture, he looks so young here!
His work is constant and he did memorable acting in almost every films. For example:

Ichi the Killer (Takashi Miike)

Zatoichi (Takeshi Kitano)

He also participates in few overseas production. He worked with Wong Kar-Wai for commercial spots, Christopher Doyle, etc. Well his latest international film is called Invisible Waves, featured in few festivals.

Here's some pictures of his upcoming film Mongol, directed by Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov. His role is Genghis Khan, looks and sounds good! I can't wait because I'm following it like over one year...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

disappearing : 01-plant life of Hawaii

Every independent islands have unique worlds. The more the island recedes from the continent, the more originality exists. And Hawaii islands are in the middle of nowhere. Well, in the middle of huge Pacific Ocean. Far from big grounds.

Sadly Hawaii is known as "the extinction capital of the world". To me it's very sad to know that there's something I can't see anymore with my eyes. I don't know botanic stuff but I like knowing that things do exist. I like seeing a illustration and thinking "this truly exist somewhere in the world". And it seems like there's a lot of plants in danger. Soon we'll see them only in the books, just like mammoths.

Actually I've been in Hawaii islands, concretely in Oahu island. I was maybe 5 years old or something like that, and it was a family travel. It's kind of cheap journey for Japanese. And there's a lot of tourists there (of course) and I guess I took a part of massive tourism which damages the nature. I don't remember much but I had very good time. I love Hawaii, I'll write about it soon.

I researched some through the internet about this problem in Hawaii. There's a lot of elements to mention, because everything is connected to everything. Culture, animal, business, water, tourism, birds... So many things that it's not worthy to talk about it here.

Anyway I wonder if there's any chance to stop all these extinctions caused by the human being, maybe paying more attention to the earth than to the universe. I mean, I love cosmic studies but everyone knows that there's a lot of things we don't know about the earth. Well I'm not scientist and I'm not sure if I can be the one to talk like that, but that's just the way I think, like a lot of people. I know it sounds selfish, because I write these things and the I'm going to sleep like every night without saving Hawaiian plants, you know?

Last two pictures are from my father's second visit to Hawaii. He participated a sort of cycling competition!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

goods : incense burner

This is a funny and cute incense burner, isn't it? It is a present from my childhood friend's sister, who was and is my sister's very closed friend.

We were neighbors (20m distance) and we four were always playing on the street in front of our houses! We had very happy times then. Oh I really wanna go back to those moments. What a nostalgia!!

Well, this incense burner is from Germany, I guess it's a kind of Germany national item. She came to see my sister when she stayed in that country, but she didn't forget me to bring something from there! She and her family are really nice.

It works like this: you separate the figure in two parts, the legs and the bodies. It's sort of being a anatomist, studying this old guy!! And you put a corn incense above the legs, then let it burn with a lighter and cover again with the body. Thus the smoke appears from the figure's mouth, like he's whiffing a pipe!!

Definitely this souvenir is very nice. I'm very lucky receiving souvenirs, actually I love all of them!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

monologue : correction

About the post of 15th September. Well I'm embarrassed, that desert wasn't Syria, was Jordan. So I've made some arrangement. She told me so before and after posting that, excuse me...

Monday, September 18, 2006

goods : Syrian scarf

My friend who visited Syria gave me it. This beautiful thing is huge and I can use it for whatever I want! It can be a towel, a curtain, or even a kind of red carpet. Just kidding!! I guess the best use is using it like muffler. I love it because it reminds me to the Japanese way to use the color. Sober way to combine the color. In very good meaning.

disappearing : disappearing world

When I was in Llandrindod Wells, three workmates and I went to a pub, not to the one we used to drink but to another one. Well I think guys wanted to watch a special football game there but it wasn't on their SkyTV, nevertheless we stayed playing the pool.

When it wasn't my turn, I sat on a chair, looking what was going on, relaxing, drinking a pint of beer, and having a look to some magazines on the table next to me. And my eyes caught something:

Immediately, I thought I want those magazines to be mine. I'm neither a ecologist, nor a activist of the environment, I only try to recycle things, but I found them interesting and I asked to the waitress, I also told her that I can pay for them. Well she kindly asked to the owner and he generously said that I can keep them, free of charge.

Those are two supplements of The Independent called DISAPPEARING WORLD, 100 THINGS YOUR GRANDCHILDREN MAY NEVER SEE. The headline is shocking. I know that a magazine sells its scandalous titles, I know that there's a lot of species has already disappeared, I know I can't change the world, and I know all that jazz. But you know, I guess it's sort of good thinking about it sometimes. Just to be conscious. Just to appreciate what we can see around.

I liked those two issues because they weren't only about the nature, but also about human and cultures. The first one focuses on Britain (17 October 2005) and the second on the world (18 october 2005), featuring 50 things each. The explanation and the pictures are really good.

Well I proposed to myself to talk about those 50 things of the world our "grandchildren may never see" on this blog. I wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't copy, so I'll just recite 50 things from the magazine, tell my opinion with some pictures. All the posts are going to appear like "disappearing : xxx". It's going to be like a serial! I hope you enjoy with this new group of posts.

monologue : restoring posts

As I started to use "subject : title" for every entry from the middle of this blog, I wanted to repair first entries changing their titles. Specially I separated The Royal Tenenbaums and The Straight Story and posted again. That's why those films are repeated.

film : The Straight Story

I love watching films. Genre doesn't matter at all if it's good one. Science fiction, love story, thriller, whatever. But I guess stories about a family and road movies are my weak point. And The Straight Story is one of my favorites.

The following trailer itself tells everything about it. This is a elderly man's journey to meet his ill brother. The unique thing is that he travels across states on a lawnmower. Some people told me that it's too slow, but you know, when the main character is elderly man and he travels on a lawnmower, what can we expect?? I'm kidding, but for me it is absolutely heartwarming.

It is based on a true story and "Straight" is the surname of that elderly man, called Alvin Straight. That word is very suitable and deserved for him, as much as for the film. Straight. They get to the point.

And just a... curiosity: there's a script in this film which is familiar to Japanese people. It's when Alvin tells teenage girl:
When my kids were young I played a
game with them. I'd give each of them
a stick. One for each of 'em, and I'd tell
them to break it. They'd do that easy.
Then I'd tell them to make one bundle
of all the sticks and try to break that. A
course they couldn't. I used to say that
was family, that bundle.

It is like a story which told Mōri Motonari, who was a personage of Japanese history, in 16th century. OK, and this is one famous story about him (reference/wikipedia):
He had three sons whom he encouraged
to work together for the benefit of the Mori
clan. In one instance, he is said to have
handed each of his sons an arrow and
asking each snap it. After each snapped
an arrow, he produced three arrows and
asked them to snap them. Unable to snap
them, Motonari told how one arrow could
be broken easily but three arrows could not.

That's so similar!! Maybe the source or origin is the same...

Anyway check those films if you have a chance!

film : The Royal Tenenbaums

"You Are Invited To A Remarkable Family Gathering"

I love watching films. Genre doesn't matter at all if it's good one. Science fiction, love story, thriller, whatever. But I guess stories about a family and road movies are my weak point. And The Royal Tenenbaums is one of my favorites.

I was shocked with this film. This is a comedy but it isn't a type of "meet the parents" at all, the sense of humour is totally different, The Royal Tenenbaums is a little bit surreal but it's charming.

The story is about Royal (Gene Hackman) who wants his family back after a lot of years, and he's gonna fake like he's very sick. His wife and he have three children, who were genius in their childhood, but now all they've got is frustration. This is just a very short plot. The cast is great, Anjelice Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow (her best role), Luke Wilson, Owen Wison, Danny Glover and Bill Murray.


Each character has their own personality and it's a succession of memorable scenes. And that's just two of the best things in the film.

Aaaand this scene is just the best. Awesome. I used to hate Gwyneth but since I saw her here telling him

Stand up straight and let me get a look at you... what's so funny... well it's nice to see you too...

This rocked me.

Friday, September 15, 2006

travel : Wadi Rum

All right, now let's go somewhere hot! Ice is enough for now, it's time to visit (mentally) somewhere like a desert. How about Middle East?

But why Middle East?

To be honest, I haven't really ever been interested in all that zone. I don't know why but it's like I prefer a forest to a desert, London to Damask, the Buddhist arts to the Islam arts, and so on. I wouldn't even like to go to Egypt.

I was about saying this all my life, but someone has changed me a little bit. Well, a Spanish friend went to Middle East, mainly Syria, for two month. And you know, I was just worried about her because I thought that zone was quite dangerous and besides while she was there Israel started to invade Lebanon. However, fortunately she came back good and told me that it wasn't dangerous at all. She also told me her experiences an sent me few pictures. Have a look at this:

Damn! I want to be there! That's southern Jordan, a desert called Wadi Rum, and do you know what is the most enviable thing she told me? That she stayed a night outside there looking at all the stars and the milky way. That night sky is one of the things I've got to see before I die. I don't mind where but this picture shows me that Wadi Rum is good place to do it, for sure.

That's a great pictures and I was thinking in putting it to be part of a collection "one shot : xxx", but as we two are competing which of us is best photographer, I just can't help her to win the crown!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

film : Superstar

Okay, okay, okay, you can say whatever you want, but I'm going to defent it forever and believe me, this film deserves to be more popular. Watch this clip:

She's saying
I had really good time on our date last night... Did you? I wore this kiwi-lime lip gloss just for you. Like it? Huh? Like kiwi? (She laughs) Shut up! You shut up. 'Cus You're sexy. Shhhhh! Shhhhh! Wanna spank you? Wanna be spanked huh? You want me to spank your booty? Spank it off. Spank it. Spank you. Shhhhh... (She kisses) Oh God, oh my body!

... I'm sorry... I'm sorry, I was just doing my part to save the rain forest.
I couldn't stop laughing the first time I saw it, I've watched this scene again and again!! The film is about Mary Katherine Gallagher, and all she wants is a kiss, a Hollywood style kiss, and become a superstar. She knows she isn't that popular in the school (so she dates a tree!!!), that's why later she tries to win the talent show in her school.

Molly Shanon is the best, I'm following her career, I need her to be the female Jim Carry. Well, apparently she takes a part in Marie Antoinette of Sofia Coppola, which is a surprise for me. Will Farrell appears in the film as well, he's unique and I love his stupid films!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

travel : Iceland〜pt.5

Dooon't worry! This is (hopefully) the last one! And the shortest one.

Hot springs are famous in Iceland, that is one of the best attractions. There're a lot but the most popular geothermal spa is Blue Lagoon. There's also a website. Just watching pictures I can relax!! I don't know why is so blue, I guess it's because of mineral and that stuff but it's still weird. Is bathing here really healthy?!

Now I'm gonna put last two pictures I couldn't use before. Just recycling!!!

A eruption of geyser.

Eyjafjallajökull, one of the smaller glacier.

I know that there's thousand things to see but I guess five times are enough to show you how beautiful can be traveling to Iceland. Don't you want to join me? We can do also whale watching!! I'm sure you'd like to see an aurora show in the sky!! I just want to convince you to come with me!!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

film : Peter's Friends

Peter's Friends is 1992 British film about six old friends that are going to gather after 10 years. All together for first time. They had acted in a comedy troupe as students. But after so long time, everything is different, it's not as it was before. It makes think about friendship and the passage of the time.

I like this kind of comedy. The combination of closed site, reduced number of characters and clever conversations. Almost all the film passes in the luxurious country house, but the script is good and it never get boring.

The actors are all good, specially Hugh Laurie and Imelda Staunton. And I didn't know Kenneth Branagh was so talented.

This is a little part of the script, a conversation between Andrew (Branagh) and Maggie (Emma Thompson):

Any news on the boyfriend front?

I was kind of seeing someone. An author.

And what happened?

He committed suicide.

Oh, I'm so sorry.

It's all right, honestly, really. I didn't really like him very much. I liked him even less after he committed suicide.

How did he do it?

Threw himself off a building. He couldn't even do that properly. It was only a 3 storey building. He would have survived, only a car ran him over.

(Andrew laughs)

It's not funny.

It is slightly funny, Maggie.

I suppose so. Yes it is slightly funny.

What sort of books did he write?


The clip is a scene of the film, the song The Way You Look Tonight (Frank Sinatra). So sweet.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

travel : Iceland〜pt.4

Let's talk about two of greatest waterfalls of Iceland: Gullfoss and Dettifos.

Gullfoss It is also called golden waterfall. The water, coming from the glacial river Hvitá, falls 32 meters in two stages at an average rate of 109 cubic meters per second.
The heaviest floods have recorded a flow of 2000 cubic metres per second. During the summer the flow is 130 cubic metres per second, which would take only 3 seconds to fill this building. People were eager to exploit the power potential of Gullfoss and many plans for hydroelectric developments on the river Hvítá have been proposed.


It is known as the most powerful waterfall in whole Europe. The water, coming from the glacial river called Jökulsá á Fjöllum, falls 100 meters, at between 200 and 500 cubic meters per second! It is also amazing that Dettifoss has 100 meters wide. This waterfall is the southernmost part of the National Park Jökulsárgljúfur (more information in chapter 3). Oh yes, please Icelandic mates, tell us how the hell can we pronounce that National Park!

Those are must-seeing, don't you think?!

Well, of course visiting Iceland would damage our small wallet, but there's something we have to know. There is cheap flight company. (Relatively) cheap flights do exist! That's Iceland Express. It connects Reykjavik to eight different cities. I could go from Alicante (wow), there are two flights a week (wow)!

to be continued

Monday, September 04, 2006

one shot : Amadou et Mariam

I like this picture, seems like they need each other so bad. Like singing, loving and needing is their life's work. I don't know them but I want to think that way. If they get divorced, I'll get depressed!!!

sound : Amadou et Mariam

Currently I am obsessed with African music. I like the primitive sound and every time I go to the library, I rent few related CDs, because in the library renting is free(´∀`)!!

But the most of CDs are actually boring because it's too tribal, whole CD is like hearing some screaming voices and some rhythm possibly made by two sticks and a piece of metal. And the primitive sound that I want is catchy tunes with cheerful chorus. And I don't mean gospel. So in this case you necessarily find Youssou N'Dour and he's fine but not what I'm waiting for.

Well, this obsession started because I need to find something I heard once: I can't forget an African song played in a IMAX film called "Rhythm". So if someone knows about it, please tell me!!!

Today I'm gonna introduce you (if you don't know them) to Amadou and Mariam. The couple is form Mali, isn't that traditional but the base must be Mali sound. Once they were featured on TV and last month I found the CD in the library.

They are married and both blind, starting the career more than 25 years ago. So they are experienced and I don't think they looked for the fortune and fame (or that's what I would like to imagine), they managed in Africa creating music and selling cassettes before they were found by French.

That's my favorite song of them, Politic amagni, though the video isn't theirs, someone in Youtube has done it, it's pretty nice to see some good pictures.

I would swear that I heard them before because some songs are... not popular but maybe they put a lot on the radio or used for some advertisement. Well they have worked with Manu Chao and since then they are more popular.